A Sunday stroll

The sun actually came out today and I felt the need to get some fresh air, so I decided to go out for a walk.
First, I headed towards the train station. On the way there I spotted some daffodils dancing in the breeze.

daffodil

I walked along the front of the zoo, stopping to see whether I could spy the red pandas. On the photo below, you can see a red ball of fur curled up in the tree. The other panda was in a higher tree further along. Most of him was hidden behind a branch though, so I didn’t take a photo.

red panda

After calling in at the train station to see whether they still had my cross stitch magazine (they didn’t – I knew I should have bought all three last week!), I headed towards Beiertheimer Allee (a street leading towards the part of Karlsruhe called Beiertheim… although I actually walked down it away from Beiertheim). In the middle of the street, there’s a large area of green with paths leading through it and a play area part way down. When the sun comes out, the green area (it’s not a park or garden, really) is incredibly popular with parents pushing buggies, joggers and dogwalkers. I spotted more signs of spring in the grass.

flowers

Continuing my walk, I passed the Karlsruhe minigolf course… still closed for its winter break until 1st April.

mini golf

The play area that you can just about see beside the minigolf is actually inside the Stadtgarten bit of the zoo.
Leaving the minigolf course, I turned a corner and came to Festplatz, a square that houses the buildings belonging to the Karlsruhe Kongresszentrum (congress centre), where many conferences and trade fairs are held. The one pictured below is the Stadthalle (City Hall… not to confused with the Rathaus, which confusingly also means Town Hall or City Hall…).

Crossing over Festplatz, I made my way back to the Südstadt and home for lunch after a lovely walk in the Spring sunshine. If only we could have weather like this every weekend!

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Home alone!

 

Jan had to leave for his dissertation conference thingy at 5:30 this morning (yawn!), so I am now boyfriend-free for a whole week. Of course,most of that time will be spent at work, but for today it’s just me and the flat. Her are my plans for the day:

A whole pot of tea and some biscuits all to myself. No need to share!

Tea and biscuits

Two new cross stitch magazines for me to read – and pick out projects that I’ll probably never get round to stitching!

Cross stitch magazines

A selection of my favourite music playing on my BlackBerry!

Currently playing: Poets of the Fall - All the Way/4U
Currently playing: Poets of the Fall – All the Way/4U

(By the way, it’s incredibly difficult to take a photo that actually shows which song is playing rather than just the reflection of my face/the camera/the ceiling…)

Staying in my pyjamas, fluffy socks and slippers all day!

PJs

And just because it’s so cute, have a bonus picture of my teapot dressed in an owl tea cosy:

owl cosy

Later, I shall be starting my spring clean, but for now it’s time to relax and enjoy having the place to myself.
Have a great Sunday everyone!

 

Science and Sunday dinner

I made a sort of Sunday dinner yesterday. Why “sort of” you ask? Well, there werre no Yorkshire puddings and the meat (pork steaks) was fried rather than roasted because I don’t trust my oven at all (there’s something wrong with the thermostat – no matter how high a setting you put it on it always claims to be at most 150°C. And I really don’t want to risk putting meat in an oven that I don’t actually know the temperature of…). We did have both roast and mashed potatoes though. And after my recent trip to England I have actual proper gravy granules. German “Bratensosse” is just not the same. Sure, it goes well enough with wild boar or Schnitzel but for a proper Sunday dinner you’ve gotta have English gravy!
We had a starter as well. I’m currently doing an Open University short course called Science Starts Here and this weekend I had to do an experiment which involved putting sliced potatoes in the oven and weighing them every hour to find out what percentage of a potato is water. The end result was something that looked a lot like those potato skins you get as a starter in restaurants so we covered them in salt and pepper and ate them. I also dipped mine in allioli (garlic sauce) which was dee-licious. While we were waiting for the main course to finish cooking I happened to mention to Jan what a shame it was I had no dessert to offer him. You see, one of the things on my 101 things list is to cook a three course meal for my boyfriend (3 times!) and as I had done all the work with dinner I thought if I had dessert I could let this count (even if the starter was originally a science experiment). Having had the thought I naturally couldn’t rest until I’d at least tried to carry it out, so I got onto Google and started looking up recipes that only use ingredients I actually had in the house. It being a Sunday in German I would have had no chance of getting anything that was missing – only the petrol stations and the tiny little shop at the train station are open. Luckily I found a recipe for golden syrup dumplings, so I made that. Mine looked nothing like the picture on the website but they tasted good and that’s all that matters, right?

We were going to go to the cinema after dinner to see the German film Der Weisse Band (The White Ribbon – read about it here) but Jan decided he was too tired, so we stayed home and watched two episodes of ER instead. We’re up to season 3 now. I love the old ones – Noah Wyle (Carter) looks so young!

Sunday bloody Sunday

Isn’t it funny how Sundays are just so… Sundayish. There’s nowhere to go because – here in Germany at least – everything’s closed. Then from about twelve o’clock onwards there’s that vague feeling of dread hanging over everything you do that can only mean tomorrow is Monday and time to go back to work. Or maybe it’s just me that feels that? Anyway, the point is weekends are far too short. I love how people talk about a work-life “balance”. How can there possibly be any sort of balance when we’re expected to work for 5 days and relax for only two. Surely to achieve a balance there has to be the same amount on each side of the scale?

Anyway, enough complaining. What am I going to do with the rest of my Sunday afternoon?

Bye bye weekend

It’s Sunday afternoon again. Almost time to return to work. As usual the weekend was far too short, seeming to go by in the blink of an eye. Does anyone else find it wrong that society expects to spend the majority of our lives at work? No wonder I have trouble looking motivated there – it feels like work is all I do! (Which brings us back to the needing a holiday thing, but that’s a topic for another day I think.)

Anyway, I was out again last night. A friend from Sweden was over visiting her boyfriend and they invited me to Vogelbräu, along with some other people from my building. Vogelbräu is a Brauhaus (brewhouse? Is there such a word in English?) which produces very nice beers. We sat outside, in an enclosed area with a roof and canvas tent style walls (the walls aren’t there in summer). They have heaters out there – those tall things that look a bit like lamp posts with an umbrella on the top. So it was lovely and warm despite the time of year. Later we had to come inside because they aren’t allowed to have people sitting out there after midnight.
It was a good night.

And now I have to go… the boyfriend has returned and he needs the computer.